Chapter 182 Take It or Leave It
Zachary’s breaths grew heavy.
“What is all this about a DNA test, Calista? You would rather trust a stupid machine than your
Calista held the brown paper envelope up to the lights overhead to try to make out its contents.
“Do you think I have a stepfather because I have a stepmother? Or, have I always had a stepfather?
He sucked in a breath.
“I know your aunt hasn’t been treating you well, and your relationship with Nikolette isn’t the best
either. You have reason to resent me. But, to doubt that you aren’t my daughter because of this…”
“I thought so too. That’s why I decided to go on with the test. You called just in time. Let me read
you the results.”
“Calista!” Zachary shouted to stop her.
With how loud he got, his voice shifted in tone.
There was a resounding rip. Calista had torn open the envelope to make sure he could hear her.
She skimmed over a major chunk of unintelligible text and fixed her gaze on the test results.
“The test results state that the probability of paternity between Zachary Everhart and Calista
She didn’t reveal the exact percentage. She simply hung up the phone and buried her face in her hands Her DNA did not match Zachary’s. They weren’t father and daughter.
She had long expected that to be the case. But with the results right in front of her, she found it hard to accept.
After leaving the testing center, Calista hadn’t gotten far before she was stuck in traffic. All four lanes were stuck in a gridlock. She couldn’t see where it ended. It was a sea of red brake lights.
tapped on her phone in annoyance and remembered that she hadn’t wired Lucien any money
So the logged into her banking app and transferred 50 thousand dollars to him
After 50 thousand dollars had been repaid, she now owed him 185 thousand dollars.
Just as Calista was about to make a second transfer, the cars ahead began to move. That was when
she realized she couldn’t wire him any more money.
The recipient had disabled incoming fund transfers. She stared at the notification, then looked at
the traffic ahead that was at a standstill. Her frustration was building.
Calista took a deep breath and called Lucian.
“Your bank account isn’t open to receive fund transfers.”
There was a moment of silence before the man hummed in a dismissive tone.
“Can you reactivate it? I need to wire you another 50 thousand.”
She had never used that particular function before and didn’t know if it was Lucian or the bank
who disabled the fund transfer.
“Get your secretary to do it.”
People tended to grovel and beg when they needed a loan and act like free men once their debts
had been repaid. Meanwhile, she had to beg him to allow her to pay off her debts.
“Do you have any idea how precious my time is, Calista? Why would I waste my time to reactivate
a service just for a mere 50 thousand dollars?”
David watched his boss act pretentiously. Lucian had been absentmindedly staring at his phone all morning.
But, the assistant had only just been transferred back to his original post. He vowed not to involve himself in Calista’s affairs anymore to avoid making things worse for himself.
Calista could barely suppress her rising anger.
Since a wire transfer won’t work, give me your bank account number.”
Just bring it here if you can’t get the bank transfer to work. It’s such a simple solution. Even a child can figure it out
She hung up the phone right after that and tossed it into the passenger seat in frustration
The car inched forward at a snail’s pace. It took her half an hour to get out of the traffic. She
checked the time and drove straight to Paul’s office.
It was half past twelve by the time Calista arrived. She hadn’t had breakfast and was starving. But
they were set to sign the contract at 1:00 PM
She wouldn’t make it in time if she went to grab a bite now. So, she decided to get some bread
She parked her car in front of the Baker Group. There was a bakery across the building. But, she noticed Paul walking out the door just as she got out of her car.
Paul was seeing someone off and shaking their hand Once the person left, he spotted her when
he glanced across the street. He paused for a moment before making his way over to her.
“You’re here early.”
“I had something going on this morning. So, I came straight here.”
Thinking that Calista would be going to work today, he arranged for them to meet during his
lunch break to sign the contract.
“Let’s go. We can talk about it over lunch. I’ll have my secretary fetch the contract.”
“You don’t have to do that. I’ll eat after we’re done,” she said.
“I haven’t had lunch yet either.”
Paul gestured to her parked car.
“My car was sent for maintenance. Let’s take your car.”
Having everything so planned out, Calista could only agree.
Seeing him get into the car, she also walked toward the driver’s seat. That was when she realized she had left the test report in the passenger seat.
With the envelope already ripped apart, it being there made little difference. Calista hurried to open the car door
Paul was fastening his seatbelt. The paternity test report was placed on the dashboard. She wasn’t
sure if he had seen its contents.
Perhaps noticing her unease, he turned to her and asked, “Is something wrong?”
She shook her head and got into the car. He stuck his phone on the holder to the air conditioning vent. It had the navigation system pulled up.
“This restaurant serves decent Palaiseau cuisine. It’s close by.”
Palaiseau restaurants emphasized the overall atmosphere. The air was filled with a romantic ambiance. As soon as the pair entered the establishment, Calista could hear a melodious violin playing.
“Do you prefer the dining area or a private room?” Paul asked.
“The dining area is fine.”
The server led them to a booth by the window. The area was surrounded by upscale shopping malls and stores that sold luxury goods.
There were also a few models on the street having photoshoots. It was a scenic sight.
Calista had her head buried in the menu to pick something to order. Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed new customers being seated next to their tables.
However, she didn’t pay them much attention. After all, it was normal for a restaurant to have customers.
She looked up and said to the server, “I’ll have a cream of mushroom soup
She stopped mid–sentence when she noticed the formally dressed Lucian at the next table. Charlotte, who was dressed to impress, was also there. Calista felt as if life was conspiring to bring them together.
A middle–aged man sat across from the pair. The man’s back was turned to her Calista couldn’t make out his expression but she could hear the disdain in his voice.
Why aren’t we requesting a private room, Mr. Northwood? The dining area is crowded and noisy It’ll affect our appetite.
No need. Here is fine, Lucian said indifferently
The man chuckled.
“I thought young people like you preferred a quiet setting. Charlotte is an artist who values
silence. She always insists on dining in a quiet private room when we dine together. With you
here, Mr. Northwood, she’s so much more compliant. I’ll finally be less out of touch with the
Lucian said nothing. He remained indifferent. Charlotte glared at him, but it was all borne of a shy daughter’s petulance.
“Dad! What are you saying?”
The middle–aged man reprimanded her, “What nerve. If it weren’t for Mr. Northwood risking his life to save you, what are your mother and I going to do? No one wants to see their child pass before them.”